The Vassall Ward Labour Party will be looking for a new Chair and now Vice Chair following the resignation of Oliver Coxhead from Lambeth Labour. The local campaigner has followed in the footsteps of the former Chair, Kingsley Abrams.
Coxhead has cited the cuts being carried out by the Lambeth Labour administration as the reason for resigning.
In a letter to members of the ward party, Coxhead explains:
“I am informing you that I have cancelled my membership of the Labour Party. I can no longer work in or support a political organisation which implements government austerity policy. I understand that this means Vassall ward will now have to elect a Vice Chair and I apologise for that inconvenience.”
Brixton Buzz reported last month that Vassall Ward Chair and former Lambeth Cllr Kingsley Abrams felt that he could no longer be part of a political party that was carrying out cuts in the borough.
Coxhead has explained his resignation citing similar reasons:
“The cuts which are to hit Lambeth are totally savage and are an attack on culture itself. The cuts are ideological, yet the Party leadership fully endorsed the Tory austerity programme and now so do the council.
In Lambeth it appears the council are attempting to present the cuts as having some kind of silver lining. The cuts will destroy our services and local government itself, this is not temporary, it is permanent, it is the long term Tory plan, but now it appears it is the Labour plan too and the Labour leaders will continue the present Tory budget if in power.”
With the General Election coming up, Coxhead has stated that he will support Kate Hoey MP, the Labour candidate for the Vauxhall constituency:
“I will being voting for Kate Hoey as she has taken principled positions on certain issues, but I would not and cannot endorse the majority of candidates.”
“It is with regret that I have decided to step down from Lambeth council for health reasons. I would like to thank residents in Princes for electing me to the council last May and wish my successor all the best for the future.”
The by-election will be an interesting exercise to see if the Lambeth LibDems have been able to recover and regroup following the complete wipeout of the party in the May 2014 local council elections.
It is likely that the by-election will be contested on 7 May, the same date as the General Election.